The Discoverer

Homework; Necessary Evil or Simply the Devil?

Representation+of+TCS+student+working+at+home.
Representation of TCS student working at home.

Representation of TCS student working at home.

Representation of TCS student working at home.

Alejandro Gomez, Staff Writer

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Three am. History first period tomorrow and two more chapters of Mr. Graziano’s outline notes to go. Does it sound like a familiar situation for some? Many fell into the routine of skipping lunch or failing assignments because of completing homework during school hours.

Homework has always been a controversial issue here at TCS. There are not yet any clear, standardized policies for the entire high school. Teachers, students, and parents get confused about their responsibilities and the way teachers are supposed to grade and send homework to students.

History of Homework Inside TCS

In previous years, when Mr. Arbabi was vice principal of middle school, the teachers are supposed to upload assignments to a common calendar, and that way the homework load for students can be balanced.

Even though the school is working hard to make the calendar work, some teachers don’t even use it. “I didn’t even know we had a calendar. I mean, I used it my first year here but now I don’t use it anymore. I thought that didn’t exist anymore,” said Brian Summers, Columbus School 10th grade History Teacher, when asked about the homework calendar.

It is clear that the confusion of teachers leads to a lack of order when calculating the workload for students. “The lack of a standardized policy that covers all of the teachers, as well as students, is needed,” Summers said.

The main reason for the calendar was so that exams were planned for different days according to each class and so that homework or big projects were not all due the same day. It seems to be a trend for teachers not to know about the calendar.

“ Calendar? What are you talking about? I didn’t know that existed,” said Emily Butterworth 9th and 11th grade English teacher.

Projection for Homework Policy

Even though there is increasing confusion and a lack of information spreading through the TCS halls, Mr. Arbabi says that his team and himself are working on a standardized policy for homework. “ Yes, we are working on a new homework policy right now. It will be implemented as a standardized policy for all teachers to follow and its main goal is to balance and control the workload on students and facilitate the logistics for teachers,” said Mr. Roger Arbabi High School Principal when asked about the current homework policy.

The Administration department has the goal set to hopefully implement the policy by the end of quarter two or the beginning of the third quarter. It will be a great solution for students and teachers to have the policy implemented A.S.A.P, but also a solid, long-lasting policy.

Solution

“To develop a good policy we have a few key questions that we are trying to answer and that way we can have a better idea of what we need,” Arbabi said. Questions like: “Why do students need homework,” and “If a student masters a skill in class does he need more practice?” are tough questions that the department will need to answer in order to develop the upcoming policy.

On the other hand, “Homework is not necessary for students at all. It is important for us to have a balance between life and school and the 8 hours that we spend here are enough to learn what we need to learn. And it is important for us to engage in different extracurricular activities outside of school. Not just homework,” said TCS 11th grader and GPA 98.9%  student Manuela Betancourt.  

“Implementing change is not easy. Is our policy perfect? No; we are even considering the possibility of not counting homework at all for next year,” Arbabi said.

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Homework; Necessary Evil or Simply the Devil?